Sunday, August 29, 2010

Woman Shops Auction

After "Man Shops Globe" I thought you might like insight into how I manage to shop...definitely not jet setting although there are those with shops who can afford to do that and send containers home. I never reached that status, and it is not an inexpensive procedure...as attested by prices at Anthro. I would probably have to turn said container into mobile home and live there!

I buy at auction...when I first started I used to go to these big wholesale auctions near Mullica Hill, NJ. There are 3 huge auction houses there, and auctioneers/decorators frequent them to buy for auctions in other parts of the country. I have not been to those in years, but my favorite haunt is my Friday night auction in Elmer, NJ. Even the name has a certain charm...nothing fancy...no limos... But, the people are nice, and it has become my Friday night entertainment.

I close early on Fridays so that I can get there to take a look around. My husband is my "hauler." Sometimes he is good about the stuff I buy, other nights...well, we won't go there! As you can see, it requires some time to filter through the stuff to find those items that will be appropriate for my little shop.
You never know what is hiding in that bathtub!
Auctions are documented as early as 500 BC. They were Babylonian wedding auctions, held annually, where women were sold for the purpose of marriage. These auctions were of the "descending type" where the offers for the beautiful maidens started high and went down until the bidder accepted the maiden. Sometimes the "buyer" made money since some of the women might have to offer a dowry to be "bought."

Auctions were fine tuned in Ancient Rome...is there nothing these folks did not fine tune for us? According to my research, the key players became the consignor (the person on whose behalf the property was sold), the organizer (regulator, financial backer), the promoter (advertiser, auctioneer), and the buyer (highest and final bidder). Auctions were held at the "Atrium" for the purpose of selling the "spoils of war" at public auction for the soldiers after a military victory. Business agents were said to have accompanied the warriors into battle in order to facilitate and promote expected sales. (The Latin word for auction is auctus, which means to increase).

The Romans also used the auction to liquidate personal property. Marcus Aurelius is said to have auctioned off prized heirlooms and furniture. It's claimed that that auction lasted over two months. Wow! Maybe he was an ancient "hoarder!"

In the European Middle Ages (the 15th. Century), King Henry V11 of England instituted some of the earliest auction laws, including auction licenses.
In the seventeenth century, auctions were held in taverns and coffee houses to sell art and other collectible items in Great Britain. Announcements of sales devoted to land appeared in the London Evening Post in 1739. The firm of Sotheby's was established in 1744 and Christie's was founded in 1766. Elmer has not been around that long, but I bet Ron...shown here...some days feels as though he has been in the building that long!
And Linda manages the office...this is early in the evening...she looks happy!

As America developed, the auction process became the accepted manner
of selling furs, clapboard, tobacco, corn, and other necessities.

Today one can get a comfortable chair...or some pretty china
or some strange creatures...
As the country developed, settlers on the western frontier bought and sold their land, crops and other items of necessity, to include animals, lumber, horses, debt, credit and, unfortunately, slaves at auction. Today most farm animals
go through an auction sometime in their life. When an industrial facility or commercial facility closes down or moves, an auction is almost always involved.

Each year the U.S. Treasury Department offers several trillion dollars of Debt. Thirteen and twenty-six week maturities are auctioned weekly on Mondays. Longer maturities are offered several times each year. Each week the Treasury Department announces the amount of debt it will auction off the next week. The market can be thought of as a "forward" market that serves both to allocate and to evaluate, thus establishing "true market value".

Other items that are auctioned consistently that we pay little attention to as average Americans are Timber, Mineral Rights, Mexican Railroads, Electricity, Radio Frequency's, PCS, Wireless Communications, MMDS, Telecommunications and Microwave point-to-point installations. The market trend for nearly all collectibles, from antiques to racehorses, is established through the auction method. The price guides use auctions for price setting. Ebay threw a wrench into that world--that is a post in itself! And we have all heard of the Art Auctions that are show stoppers.

Some people fear auctions because auctioneers have to move the merchandise quickly and efficiently. Key in bidding at an auction is to set limits...the auctioneers will try to coax you into another couple dollars. Better to have an idea in your head before you start, but, if you bought something way under your set limit, you can always go a couple more dollars on another item. Cost abverage! But you do have to think fast.

Helpers...runners...hold up people...are the links to the merchandise for the audience...














































I did not picture everyone at Elmer who works...I know I will hear about it! But there is a Tool Room, A Dock, A Plant Section, and Food. But I had to bid also!
Unlike Anthro's "Lamb Kabobs with Lemon Yogurt," we have the ever ready "Food Truck." You want fries with that?I must confess though that we end our night at the local diner...appropriately called Elmer Diner...no need to confuse the situation with a fancy name! Love diners for that! !

So there is some insight to how I buy...I have no man shopping globe...but we do all right so I guess shopping auctions and flea markets (I will do Cowtown--our flea market one of these days) works well...and it stimulates the local economy, and in today's world that is a good thing

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Man Shops Globe


I am a fan of Anthropologie. As a retailer, I admire those who are adept at the art of retail just as I am taken by the artist, the musician, the writer. The consumer today is a fickle creature...big boxes have replaced the department stores...and dollar stores are the new Five & Dimes (and they were even sophisticated by comparison).

Anthropologie embodies the spirit of appealing to the customer in all venues but pushes retail into the 21st century. Monday, August 16, brought me to Anthro's headquarters at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Not having GPS, I relied on Google...never mind! But after a tour of downtown Philly and directions from some gracious city folks, we made it to the Navy Yard.I had signed up the beginning of August for this event... the chance to see Keith Johnson and Anna Sui discuss their buying trip to Syria. This was the first time Anthro had opened their space to the public, and they did a marvelous job...hope they do it again!


Now, for those who are not cable "full", Man Shops Globe is on the Sundance Channel and features Keith, a buyer for Anthro, as he travels around the world looking for merchandise. Ah, were he my picker!!! But, alas, I am forced to most of my own searching...and in my backyard not the globe...anyway, when we got there, already hyped from the "lost in Philly" experiences, I was about to be pushed into my 15 year old groupie mode as I was told at the check in desk that Wendy (one of the co-Presidents of Anthro) had arranged for me to meet Keith and have a picture taken with him! I had commented on Facebook that I was so excited about this event, and she followed up...trust me...this is the retail world I have talked about on earlier blogs...where you are not just a consumer, but you are a person with whom they have a connection, and even though they do not know you personally, they treat you as though they do. Here is one of the Co-Presidents...Wendy McDevitt...stopping so that I could take her picture...she is totally charming...an aura of life about her, true?
From the time we entered their building...and this Navy Yard is being repurposed wonderfully...that is a whole other story...we were greeted by Anthro associates...all charming...gracious...friendly.Here is the other Wendy, Wendy Wurtzburger...again out and about - everyone was so friendly and helpful.
Of course, my highlight was meeting Keith...thank goodness, I had had a Stella Artois beer (if you watch the show, you know they sponsor), or I would have been tongue-tied...not like moi at all! But he was gracious, friendly, funny...but wait...there is more...Anna Sui had traveled with him to Syria for shopping, and we were treated to a screening of that show as well as hearing from them. She is funny and also very friendly. They spoke of their travels through Syria...not like shopping at the local flea markets, but Anna did show a scarf that she had purchased and talked about how friendly people were (get rid of politics, and we become truly the civilization we should be!)

















In the huge lobby, items Keith's shopping were displayed. If you watch the show...and you should...you will recognize these items...


Mexican chair

paper birds from the Australian artist...
other paper items...





paper pot-belly stove!
not to mention a host of other treasures "man" found while shopping globe!















































Now, to make this all happen here are some of the wonderful people who also made the evening special...







This is David...the photographer...just so nice...note beer in one hand, camera in the other!
And the open bar was a real surprise...this is Eliezer...had to have him spell his name for me...cute, isn't he?

Other bartenders, 2 with "have to spell for me" names...from right to left...Lahel and Andrey...and then Fred...all charming as could be!

And the food was as classy as Anthro...I had to snap some pics...and, if you watch the show, you know that man eats as he shops the globe!













I should have gotten a picture of Julie who was key in having my photo op with Keith, but I did not...I did snap some pictures of some of the associates...Kristen and Jessica...and I thought I had the names for the charming greeters written down, but I could not track it...but they were all perfect hostesses...
Then there were the gift bags!
Since there were men there, my husband included, they had a unique bag for his and hers...his had a candle...Volcano...mine had Anna Sui perfume...both had journals and DVDs of Man Shops Globe...
I leave you with images from my evening......it is good to see the creative spirit alive and well...smiling faces...gracious beyond words...









My thanks to Anthropologie for a wonderful experience into a special retail world!